Have you ever been old? Well, me neither but I think I’m getting there. And fast. I suppose I always knew it would eventually happen, I just wasn’t supposing “eventually” would happen so soon. Or even in my lifetime. But it did. I’ve never been this old before so I’m not really sure what to expect.
I got up the other morning and saw my reflection in the bathroom mirror. Startled myself. Wondered if I had died in my sleep and just hadn’t fully realized that fact yet. Must have lain funny on the pillow overnight. That would explain all the lines and wrinkles now appearing on my face. When did I get a corduroy pillow?
Maybe all this aging didn’t exactly happen overnight but it sure seems that way. I blame the laws of physics for most of the changes I’ve been noticing. All these years of exposure to gravity have wrought their effects on my body. Long term gravity exposure has pushed the once thick, wavy locks on my noggin down through my scalp leaving my hair visibly thinner on top while pushing the opposite ends out through my ears and nose.
This decades-long exposure to gravity is also compressing my body and the excess seems to be congregating around my waist, pushing me further into my trousers. I used to wear pants smaller in the waist and longer in length but now that’s reversed. I’ve even seen old people who have compressed so much into themselves that their waistlines are now up to their chests.
I’m also starting to notice my memory isn’t what it used to be. I think my internal memory card, my RAM, is reaching its limit. I can remember the words to school yard limericks but can’t always readily recall what I had for dinner the other night.
I can usually skip breakfast these days, too, because I’m so full from all the medications and supplements I’ve started taking each morning. So, instead of breakfast in bed, I’m more inclined to have dinner in bed.
I don’t eat as much as I used to either, I guess my metabolism is slowing down like everything else these days. Except the calendar; that seems to be speeding up. Feels like Christmas and tax day happen every few weeks.
And birthdays come quicker, too. But even with the accelerated birthdays, I don’t feel like I’m getting that much older. My friends and family certainly are, though. My older brother is nearly as old as our mother now. Weird. And my son, he’ll be catching up to me soon the way things are going.
If I knew I was going to live this long, I would have taken better care of myself. Then again, probably not. When you’re young, you don’t think you’ll ever be old. Old people? They just keep popping up somehow; you don’t believe you’ll ever turn into one.
Don’t get me wrong, I’ve noticed some advantages to getting old. Once your hair thins and grays, and your face drips down into your neck, there’s a lot less that people expect of you.
You don’t have to keep your appearance picture perfect all of the time. Being slightly disheveled is not only expected but an easier look to maintain. There are senior discounts, you can say you’ve seen all of the really cool bands live and you used to actually drive some of those cars at the vintage car show.
So, my younger readers, when you see an old person on the street, know that you’re actually seeing into the future and that one day, this will be you.
There’s no mythical, eternal spring spitting out old folks, it’s just what you and your friends will turn into. So be nice, be respectful and be patient with old folk you come across. Someday, before you realize it, that old person will be you and when your yin meets your yang, you’ll want karma to look favorably upon you.